One of my clients has developed an innovative recycling machine for a niche. He uses the machine himself as he has a recycling company. However, I advised him to capitalize on the invention by licencing the technology. This is because when talking to him he felt unease with manufacturing; he rather wants to stay with his main business. So, I proposed licencing to other equipment manufacturers. I want to manage this process on behalf of him, but I lack experience in licencing. Should my customer first patent the invention and then simply call manufacturers if there is some interest? What are the milestones and pitfalls in licencing?
Yes. The only way your protected, at least temporarily is through patenting. Because what you license is the patent not the device.
You can develop a sort of drop shipment operation if you can find a manufacturer in this field who can build t and operates with a Just In Time approach... They build as orders (from your sales efforts) come in, and they take care of shipping to client, not you (drop shipping).
This is a better approach as you can sell something you currently don't have in stock, or have to spend as much money on patenting before knowing if there is really a demand.